Subaru makes one of the best, if not the best, all-wheel drive systems in the automotive business. It is a drivetrain that is well suited to a crossover like the Subaru Outback.
So what does the 2013 Subaru Outback bring to the road or trail? It is a mid-size five-passenger all-wheel drive crossover.
The engine is a direct-injected 2.5-liter double overhead cam flat four-cylinder engine providing 173 hp and 174 ft. lb. of torque. The transmission is a six-speed manual gearbox or a (CVT) continuously variable automatic with shifting on the steering wheel. The Outback’s 0-60 mph time is in 9.7 seconds.
This Subaru’s wheelbase measures 107.9 inches and its curb weight is 3,498 lbs. The off road ground clearance is 8.7 inches. The fuel tank holds 18.5 gallons and its highway driving range is 555 miles. The Outback’s towing capacity is 2,700 lbs.
On the exterior this SUV looks solid, athletic and refined.
At the front the windshield is well raked. The hood is short and broad and includes V shaped cut lines running to the edges of the grille. The grille is a chrome unit that has a pleasant shape. The headlights are large curved units that extent well back into the front fenders. There is a large air intake below the bumper flanked by two black inserts housing round driving lights at the corners.
The side profile of the Outback includes upper glass that is outlined in chrome. The sheet metal is beveled out above the door handles. The front and rear fenders include round character lines. Furthermore, the front headlights and rear taillights are noticeable in the fenders.
At the rear this SUV has a clean look. The rear taillights are integrated in the hatch and wrap into the rear fenders. The recessed license plate area adds contrast to the smooth curved shape of the hatch. Two vertical red reflectors are located at the edges of the bumper. A black insert at the bottom of the bumper adds additional contrast. Dual exhausts complete the look.
The interior of the Outback includes very good looking materials that are nicely finished. The driver sees a large round tachometer on the left and speedometer on the right. Smaller half-circle temperature and fuel gauges flank the larger gauges. Digital information is provided in between the tachometer and speedometer. The dash includes distinctive lines that are pleasing to the eye. The top of the center console is done in brushed aluminum. The front bucket seats are comfortable and supportive. In the back this Subaru has good legroom and reasonable headroom. The 40/60 split rear seat folds down to increase the cargo area. There is 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat up and 71.3 cubic feet of space with the rear seat folded down.
The brakes are discs at all four corners measuring 11.6 inches at the front and 11.4 inches at the rear. The Outback’s 60-0 mph stopping distance is in 118 feet. The tires measure 215 70 16 inch. Larger tires are wheels are also available.
The suspension up front includes MacPherson struts, coil springs, gas shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar. At the rear the setup includes double wishbones, coil springs, gas shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar.
Standard features on this Subaru include air conditioning, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, audio controls and cruise control on the steering wheel, remote power door locks, electronic speed-proportional power steering, power door locks, windows and mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, front cupholders, external temperature display, rear defogger, 12 volt power outlets, interior air filtration, front reading lights, 4-speaker AM/FM in-dash single CD/DVD with CD MP3 playback stereo, iPod/iPhone integration, radio data system, USB connection, pre-wired for phone, Bluetooth wireless data link for hands-free phone and more.
Standard safety features include four-wheel ABS brakes, front and rear head air bags, dual front side-mounted air bags, passenger air bag occupant sensing deactivation, child seat anchors, rear door child safety locks, engine immobilizer, remote anti-theft alarm system, daytime running lights, auto delay off headlights, dusk sensing headlights, stability and traction control, electronic brake force distribution, tire pressure monitoring and more.
The fuel rating for the Outback is 24 city and 30 mpg highway.
The price of the 2013 Subaru Outback will start near $24,000. It will be in dealer showrooms in late 2012.
On the road the Outback provides a smooth ride and buttoned down handling. The steering is nicely weighted and the vehicle feels connected to the road. This crossover carries cargo with ease and it is a good highway cruiser. Furthermore, it is a no nonsense ride that can handle any type of weather.
If you want an all-wheel drive crossover that is off road capable, able to carry cargo and gets reasonable gas mileage, the highly practical Subaru Outback is worth your test drive. Of note is that Subarus have some of the best resale value in the automotive industry. All in all, the 2013 Subaru Outback is a hard crossover to beat!